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Settlement reduction and stress concentration factors in rammed aggregate piers determined from full-scale load tests

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2004
Özkeskin, Aslı
Despite the developments in the last decades, field performance information for short aggregate pier improved ground is needed for future design and to develop a better understanding of the performance of the short (floating) aggregate piers. A full-scale field study was performed to investigate the floating aggregate pier behavior in a soft clayey soil. Site investigations included five boreholes and sampling, four CPT soundings, and SPT and laboratory testing. The soil profile consisted of 8m thick compressible clay overlying weathered rock. Four large plate load test stations were prepared. A rigid steel footing having plan dimensions of 3.0m by 3.5m were used for loading. Four 65cm diameter reaction piles and steel cross beams were used to load the soil in each station. First test comprised of loading the untreated soil up to 250 kPa with increments, and monitoring the surface settlements. Moreover, distribution of settlements with depth is recorded by means of deep settlement gages installed prior to loading. Other three tests were conducted on clay soil improved by rammed aggregate piers. In each station, seven stone columns were installed, having a diameter of 65cm, area ratio of 0.25, placed in a triangular pattern with a center to center spacing of 1.25m. The length of the columns were 3m, 5m in the two station resembling floating columns, and 8m in the last station to simulate end bearing columns to observe the level of the improvement in the floating columns. Field instrumentations included surface and deep settlement gages, and load cell placed on a aggregate pier to determine distribution of the applied vertical stress between the column and the natural soil , thus to find magnitude of the stress concentration factor, n , in end bearing and floating aggregate piers. It has been found that, the presence of floating aggregate piers reduce settlements,